Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Name Appeared on the Screen

It's called coincidence, hunch, synchronicity, fortuitous luck, spiritual guidance, paranormal activity, karma, extra sensory perception, life-after-death, fate, divine intervention, genetic memory, manifestation of providence, intuition, statistical inevitability, inspiration, psychic channeling, revelation, subconscious reasoning, vision, sixth sense, collective subconscious, dream, past-life imprinting on present consciousness, educated guess, inner voice, out-of-body journey, chance, non-mechanical reality, portent, omen or "the sheer cussed ... wonder of things."1

We call it Serendipity in Genealogy.

Serendipity in Genealogy

A woman in Utah had been searching for information on one of her ancestors. One day she attended a Family History Library class on Church records taught by employee, John Van Weezep, a senior bibliographer in the acquisitions department. During the class, Van Weezep showed an immigration record from Steeple Ashton, Wiltshire, England.

To their astonishment, the example contained the very information for which the woman was searching!2

     1. Henry Z Jones, Jr., Psychic Roots : Serendipity and Intuition in Genealogy (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1993), p. 81.

     2. Douglas D. Palmer, “What’s Your Line?” LDS Church News, 23 December 1967, p. 14, col. 1; images online, Google News Archive( : accessed 28 December 2009).

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